When it comes to choosing the best online bookmaker for optimal results, knowing what features to look for is paramount to success. To give you the best chance possible, our team of betting experts have put together this useful short guide. Not only will our guide provide an excellent overview of the top sportsbooks available today, it will highlight the key features such as markets or betting types and odds, bonuses, payouts, security and more.
Browse our expertly curated list of top sportsbooks and expand them to read in-depth, no-nonsense reviews where each feature is thoroughly tested and reviewed. By doing this, you’ll be able to easily choose the best sportsbook that reflects your market interests and betting preferences.
Choose you next sportsbook from our reviewed listings
Base your choice on key features
Read expert reviews that test key features thoroughly before making your choice
You can always choose more than one top sportsbook at a time
Finding the Best Online Bookmakers – How We Do It
With more and more new online betting odds providers appearing every month, being able to separate the strong ones from the weak ones can be quite a challenge. While most will be drawn in by a flashy bonus offer, there is more to it.
To find the best online bookmakers that really make a difference to how well you will enjoy your online betting experience, we use very specific criteria. Here, in this guide, we share those criteria with you.
This aims to serve two purposes:
- So that you can clearly see the steps that we take in reviewing top sites and presenting you with the most definitive sport online bookmaker list available.
- If you choose to find a reputable sports online bookmaker on your own, you’ll be equipped with the necessary tools to do so successfully.
1. Regulated Online Betting Platforms
Before you even consider a given online bookmaker’s odds, bonuses or other features, you need to be sure that the sports online bookmaker that are interested in is licensed. All legitimate betting platform providers need to be regulated through recognised bodies such as the MGA (Malta, UKGC (United Kingdom), GBGA (Gibraltar) for Europe, as well as Curacao, Costa Rica, Kahnawake andother licensing jurisdictions for the rest of the world. Our lists of recommended online bookmakers reflect one or more of these licenses which have been verified as part of our thorough reviewing processes.
2. Sports Betting Features
Separating the herd begins with a look at overall betting features available. A good online bookmaker worth their salt will cover a wide range of markets and cover them meticulously. Look for the type of sports being offered, is your favourite sport (or sports) there?
Are the bets offered competitive enough? Do the offer enough value over their competitors? How about specials. Are there any available that can add more value to your bet?
Top sports online bookmakers will cover all this and more. In fact, today's best providers use the latest technologies to provide excellent live (In-Play) betting options complete with live streaming of top events, which you can watch right in your betting platform. These state-of-the-art services are also available across multiple platforms, including mobile devices (phones and tablets).
Other interesting extras that will take a online bookmaker to the next level include customisable event calendars (complete with event reminders), up to the minute and easily available stats for the events you’re betting on, bet exchanges and more.
3. Available Odds
For many, available odds are what really define a good sports online bookmaker. One of the most effective ways to find the best betting odds provider in your particular sport (or fields of interest), is to open multiple accounts.
There is nothing wrong with having five or six top betting platform providers in regular rotation. By comparing their available odds on any given event, you’ll quickly discover which is the go-to platform.
However, it’s not just about available odds, it’s everything around it too. For instance, some providers will include a commission on their odds while others will post higher odds than their competitors or will seek to keep their odds as firm as possible.
In any event, evaluating the available odds is still one of the most effective ways in measuring a online bookmaker’s worth, particularly in the long run.
4. Bonuses and Incentives
One of the most powerful marketing tools for any online bookmaker is the welcome bonus and/or incentive package. This is particularly true when it comes to attracting new bettors to their site. On the one hand, this can be a great way to find good value with various betting service providers. On the other, you need to be sure of what the offer entails.
Here’s a good example of what we mean by that:
Let’s say a new online bookmaker is offering a 100% match on your first cash deposit with them. This would effectively give you double your starting bankroll instantly.
But consider the following:
What are the terms and conditions that are attached to the offer?
What rollover are you looking at? How much time do you have to meet rollover requirements?
What minimum odds are applicable to the offer (qualifying odds)?
You’ll find that the best online bookmakers will always offer good value, sensible sports bonus offers and free bets that include easy to understand and transparent T’s & C’s.
5. Payment Options
Perhaps one of the most undervalued or overlooked features of any sportsbook are their payment options. In fact, we’ll go so far as to say an online sportsbook without solid payment coverage, is next to useless. You need to be able to get your funds into your account quickly and safely and, using the platform that is available to you at that moment, be that mobile or desktop.
The online bookmaker that you choose to go with needs to be able to give you what you need. If you prefer PayPal or Bitcoin for example, only betting platforms that offer those are going to be of use to you.
We evaluate the available payment options for each betting site that we review. This includes regular options such as Visa or MasterCard credit and debit cards, eWallets like Neteller, Skrill and others, prepaids, bank transfers as well as anything unique or unusual. We also evaluate payout time frames, service fees and any hidden factors that may affect your deposit or payout.
6. Support When You Need it
Another area that is often overlooked when assessing a new online bookmaker is customer support. All too often, inexperienced sports bettors are drawn in by the lure of a free bet or irresistible odds on a sensational event, like the world cup or a match final of some sort.
However, what do you do if something goes wrong? What if you’re unable to get your winnings out the way you like, or you find something to be unclear, perhaps the T’s & C’s of a bonus offer. Being able to contact your online bookmaker at any hour, and in the language of your preference is ideal.
For this reason, we evaluate customer support thoroughly. We test key areas of support such as speed of response, product knowledge, friendliness, efficiency and so forth. We also test all available communication options, including live chat, email, direct call support and social media channels, if available.
7. Easy to Use
All the best digital online bookmakers have one thing in common, they’re all easy to use across multiple platforms. Whether you prefer betting on your favourite sports in the comfort and privacy of your own home, or taking your game on the go with you, speed and ease of use are king.
We place a strong emphasis on cutting edge technology that allow betting platforms to make it as easy as possible for you to access your markets when and where you need to. This includes a comparable mobile option and an overall design layout that places everything within easy reach of your fingers.
Online bookmakers – Comparing Features
The first online online bookmakers began to appear on the web in the mid to late nineties. Since then, thousands of sports betting brands have become available to punters all over the world. In fact, 2021 is a bumper year for the online sports betting industry, with two or three new sites popping up every month.
This is a bit of a double-edged sword. On the one edge, you have more online bookmakers, and therefore more choices than ever before. On the other edge of the sword, being able to make sound and safe choices becomes exponentially harder.
One of the most effective ways to narrow down your options is to take two or more online bookmakers and place their key features head to head.
These features should include:
Regulatory body and license
Quality of customer support services
Range and depth of available markets
Speed at which odds are posted
Easy to understand T&Cs
Latest and most efficient payment options
Mobile betting platform quality
Live or In-Play betting features (streaming etc.)
What Features Should You be Looking at first when comparing Online Bookies?
Competition between various online bookmakers is strong and getting stronger every day. To claim their share of the available market (bettors), they have to grab attention quickly.
The most effective way to do this, is through the sign-up bonus offer.This is usually built up around a free bet or first bet offer with a cashback on the backend to sweeten the deal.
However, when it comes to reviewing a online bookmaker and finding out what they’re really all about, this is a feature that should be ignored, at least initially.
When we conduct a review on a potential betting site, we don’t place their betting offers upfront. Instead, we look at the core features that really determine the quality of a betting site:
There is not much use in signing up with an online sports betting site that is not able to provide you with the very latest in SSL or TSL encryption security. Why would you want to put your money or your identity at risk in exchange for a juicy bonus offer?
As we’ve mentioned a little earlier in this guide, getting top drawer service is absolutely key to a positive betting experience. Yes, find value in great odds in good time is a must, so is being able to pick and choose from a diverse range of markets.
However, if you can’t get a hold of your bookie when you need to, how will you ever sort out issues that will inevitably crop up, like delayed payments, disqualified bets, having confusing T’s & C’s explained in terms that make sense to you, and so forth.
This is also where professionalism comes in, and great customer service and professionalism go hand in glove. Your online bookmaker must always conduct themselves in a professional and transparent manner . This includes having reputable arbitrators in place in the event of any disputes arising, and they will at some point.
Conclusion: Put a little effort into finding best bookmaker
Start with reputable licensing that you can follow to their home webpage to verify that the online bookmaker is what they say they are. Then work your way through the list of features and get in touch with their support team. This is often a great way to get an idea of what your experience with that bookie will be down the road. Speak to other bettors out there to see what their experience has been like. This is often the sincerest evaluation that you’ll get about a particular bookie, a hands-on experience. Of course, you should also evaluate all data in a logical and analytical manner. Some negative experiences won’t be the fault of the bookie. Some players won’t bother reading the rules and lose out because of it, taking it out on the bookie as a last resort.